London Mayor Ken Livingstone’s new ‘Low Emission Zone’ penalty system kicked off today in the UK capital, forcing drivers of some vehicles, mostly heavy trucks, to pay up to £200 to drive through the city. The zoning system covers 33 different London boroughs and uses both fixed and mobile cameras to check the numberplates of registered vehicles. Approximately 12,500 truck and bus drivers are expected to be affected each day because of the new rules. Remember, this is in addition to the already outrageous congestion charge.

Vehicles liable for the charge will include diesel trucks and vehicles over 12 tonnes which were manufactured before October 2001, or those which do not meet the Euro III emissions standards, reports 4Car. Coaches and buses are liable, as well as minibuses carrying more than eight people, but owners can retrofit devices such as particulate filters to meet the emissions requirements, or convert to an approved alternative fuel to avoid the charges.

Last month the city of Milan started a similar scheme with its own EcoPass plan and soon fellow Italian cities, Turin and Rome, will start their own respective programs.